On Friday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge denied parole for Leslie Van Houten, a former Charles Manson follower who took part in the vicious murders of a California couple in 1969, the Los Angeles Times reports.
On August 9, 1969, Van Houten, along with four other members of the notorious “family” cult led by Manson, entered a home at 3301 Waverly Drive in Los Angeles, owned by Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Under Manson’s directions, the family members tortured and stabbed the couple to death before writing “Death to Pigs” on a wall in the home, using the victims’ blood.
Judge William C. Ryan indicated that there Van Houten’s release would “would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society,” given the extremely brutal way in which she and her four counterparts killed the LaBianca couple. The ruling comes after Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision in January to reverse Van Houten’s parole. Afterward, Van Houten’s lawyer filed to overturn Brown’s decision, but Ryan ultimately sided with Brown.
“Unless the inmate can demonstrate that there is no evidence to support the governor’s conclusion that the inmate is a current danger to public safety, the petition fails to state a prima facie case for relief and may be summarily denied,” Ryan stated.
Van Houten’s lawyer argued unsuccessfully that his client was remorseful and that given her age, now 68, her stellar record behind bars and the education she received while locked up, she wouldn’t be a threat to society.
[Feature Photo: Leslie Van Houten via AP/Stan Lim/Los Angeles Daily News, Pool]